I don’t think there’s anything that makes a dish prettier than curly vegetables in the form of noodles, zoodles, ribbons or spirals! They are a great way to add height and color to a dish, not to mention the fact that they make a lot of vegetables that you might not otherwise consider eating raw INTERESTING and palatable to eat that way.

I first came across zoodles (aka zucchini noodles) a few years ago as a way to boost the vegetables and cut back on the processed carbohydrates in a meal. My husband has a self-proclaimed hatred for zucchini, so I thought, “Aha! Maybe this is a way I can get some into his diet!” And you know what? It totally worked! I made a nut-based alfredo cream sauce that night, and split the zoodles half and half with a whole grain pasta. He didn’t even notice that he was eating zucchini. Score! Since then I have been in love with zoodles, using my handheld Zyliss zoodle maker well. Last month I purchased a larger spiralizer, and then I came across Nourishing Noodles by Chris Anca – which opened up SO MANY MORE possibilities for spiralizing.

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This is a gorgeous book, full of inspiration for creative, healthy dishes. The recipes I have tried so far have been right on – lovely flavor combinations, sometimes classic, sometimes unexpected, but always delicious.

Before stumbling across Nourishing Noodles, I had definitely gotten my head around beet spirals, carrot spirals and cucumber spirals – all usually used in salads, but what I love about this book is that it takes things one (or three!) steps further. Have you ever thought about using vegetable noodles in soup? In dessert?! Have you ever thought of spiralizing mango? Cantaloupe? Broccoli stalks? See what I mean? The results of Anca’s creativity are beautiful, unusual dishes, and her recipes include amazing dressings, sauces and topping ideas across the spectrum of meals and snacks throughout the day.

We have been featuring Nourishing Noodles on the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club over the past week. Check the club page out for recipes and chatter about the book here.

One of the feature recipes we shared, and one that I tried and loved, is this salad, below. The dressing is light and beautifully blended for just the right mix of sour, sweet and spicy. And my salad looked just as good as the picture! You gotta love that. Two thumbs up for Nourishing Noodles!

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CUCUMBER AND SPROUTS THAI NOODLE SALAD

Serves 2 (as a light meal)

DRESSING

1 tbsp tamari

Juice and pulp of 1/2 lime

1 tbsp coconut nectar

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/4 tsp cold-pressed sesame oil

1/2 tsp chia seeds

1 pinch chili flakes

 

NOODLES

2 large handfuls sunflower sprouts

4 small radishes, thinly sliced

2 small handfuls finely chopped mint

1 small spring onion, thinly sliced

2 Lebanese cucumbers, thin spirals

 

SERVING/TOPPINGS

2 large handfuls baby spinach or seasonal greens of your choice

1 tbsp white and/or black sesame seeds

2 lime wedges

1 Place all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

2 Add the sprouts, radish, mint, and onion to the dressing bowl and toss until thoroughly coated.

Massage vegetables for about 1 minute to help soften them. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3 Add cucumber noodles to the bowl and toss until thoroughly coated.

4 Arrange a large handful of baby spinach or greens of choice on each plate, then top with coated noodles.

5 Sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve with lime wedges.

Recipe & photo from #NourishingNoodles courtesy of Race Point Publishing and Chris Anca.